By Tim Chambers
Mike Dorsey probably doesn’t remember Charlie Bucket, but the two share something in common.
Bucket was a poor boy who found a rare golden ticket inside a Wonka Bar that was given to him as a gift by his grandfather — allowing him to enter the chocolate factory where no outsiders had every been.
Before a large crowd, the Lady Warriors’ golden ticket was an 11-3 win over Elizabethton on the Valley’s immaculate diamond.
The victory was sweet for the program because beating ’Betsy was something it hadn’t done in quite a while. It was a major gobstopper for them — one that will be everlasting.
“Our kids came out and attacked like we wanted them to and they never got down in the game,” said Dorsey. “We played excellent defense today after making nine errors our last time out. We emphasized that. We’ve hit the ball well all year and today was no different. We can be in every game if we keep hitting it like we’ve been doing and play defense like we did today. I am super pleased and very proud of them.”
Happy Valley (1-0, 2-1) drew first blood by scoring a pair of runs in the first. Kaylee Street led off with a double and scored on Kiara Coffey’s groundout. Allison Williams walked and later came on an error.
The Cyclones (0-1, 2-1) took advantage of a Lady Warrior miscue to tie the game in the second.
Reazyn DeMoss reached on a error and Caley Hodge was intentionally walked. Both scored — one on a sac fly by Casey Jones and the other on a sharp single from Abby Stephenson.
Brittany Morefield’s leadoff single in the bottom half with the help of another ’Betsy error allowed HV to go back up 3-2.
Elizabethton tied the game in the third after Summer Hughes singled and scored on Lindsey Cunningham’s sacrifice fly.
Happy Valley was quick to counterpunch each time ’Betsy battled back. Coffey’s triple in the third plated Brooke Simmons, who had singled. A throwing error on the play enabled Coffey to race home for a 5-3 Warrior lead.
“This is a huge win for us because they’re our rival,” said Coffey, who recently won the state title in wrestling. “I had made a mistake earlier and wanted to make up for it. I was mad but I had to put it aside in order to try and help my team.”
Elizabethton had a golden opportunity to put some runs on the board in the fifth, but ran themselves out of a potential big inning with two baserunning blunders.
Brooke Simmons drove home Street, who had singled, to up the Warriors lead at 6-3 in the bottom half.
One inning later, the Lady Warriors went for the jugular. It started with another Cyclone error — one of six on the day — which allowed Morefield to reach. Kaitlin Campbell lined a laser shot off the third sacker that went for a base hit, and Street walked to load the bases.
Williams cleared the bags with a triple that upped the ante to 9-3. Coffey’s sac fly brought home another insurance run, as did Jessa Dugger’s single to make the score 11-3.
The final inning was a carbon copy of just how the game had gone for Elizabethton. A 6-3 groundout resulted in a double play after the runner at second was thrown out trying to take third.
Morefield went the distance on the mound for Happy Valley. She scattered seven hits and struck out one, but was helped by some great defensive play from her teammates.
The Lady Warriors recorded 20 outs in the field, and made only one error.
“We’ve never beaten them or come close in my high school career,” said Morefield. “We’re starting to jell as a team, plus we’re going out there and having fun. This was definitely a big win for us.”
Happy Valley banged out 11 hits in the game as several players stood out. Street had a pair of hits and scored three times, Simmons went 2-3 with two RBIs and Dugger finished 2-4. Williams and Coffey tripled and had three RBIs apiece.
Jones led the Cyclones, going 1-1 with a double and a run driven in. Hodge and Cunningham went 1-2.
Elizabethton coach Leanna Click complimented Happy Valley for its performance.
“You can’t knock what they did — they hit it well, played great defense and threw our runners out,” said Click. “We didn’t execute. We made a lot of errors in the field and on the bases. It’s our first loss, so we’ll learn from this. I have confidence that these girls will bounce back. We have to.”
Elizabethton 011 000 0 — 3 7 6
Happy Valley 212 105 x — 11 11 1
Cunningham and Hodge. Morefield and Coffey. W—Morefield. L—Cunningham.